A Self-Made Typography Icon in His Own Words

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Doyald Young never made it through high school, but as this short documentary shows, that never made any difference

Last fall, mere months before iconic typeface and logotype designer Doyald Young passed away, Lynda.com produced a wonderful short documentary about him, in which Young tells his incredible rags-to-proverbial-riches story and reveals the principles behind his timeless, unique letterforms and logos. Besides being a design legend, he was also an epitome of the intellectual ideal of curiosity as powerful tool of creative growth.

"I did not finish high school, I didn't even complete the tenth grade, and throughout my whole life, I've read extensively -- it's how I've educated myself."

"I think the reason that I have been attracted to lettering and typography is because, in one sense, so little of it has changed -- the letters that we look at today are the same letters that we looked at 500 years ago. And I sort of like the stability of it and I think it all goes back to the fact that my dad moved us around all the time, my whole childhood was in a state of flux. So I look for stability, and typography gives me that stability."

Nearly two decades after its original publication, Young's Logotypes & Letterforms: Handlettered Logotypes and Typographic Considerations remains a timeless classic and a fine addition to the 10 essential books on typography. A big thanks to reader Donald Lais for the great call.



This post also appears on Brain Pickings.

Image: Design Pr

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Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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